One reason I absolutely love writing the column I write for Gaming Today News is because it involves writing about something I never expected I’d be interested in, let alone write a column about. My “Monday Morning Michelle” column is all about college football. Most who know me, know that I had always preferred NFL games to college football games but that all changed when I began to pay attention to college football. Yet, that was before I began working to promote a radio show that focused predominantly on college football games.
This past weekend I chose to write about USC’s disappointing loss to the Washington Huskies. I knew very little about USC’s coach Steve Sarkasian other than what had been reported earlier in the year about his outburst at the “Salute to Troy.” More so than USC’s loss, I was focused on the upcoming battle the Trojans are about to face against Notre Dame.
As part of my research into USC’s loss, and its preparation for the upcoming battle, I did some research into Coach Sarkasian’s background. I learned that he played baseball as a non-scholarship player for USC, then went to play both football and baseball at a community college, got a degree and eventually enrolled at BYU. I also learned about his return to USC, his career moves with the Oakland Raiders, and his eventual move to coach the Washington Huskies. Finally, I learned about his return to USC to serve as head coach for the USC Trojans.
All the sudden the loss to Washington last week became more meaningful. So too did the double digit spread. USC would lose the game in a disappointing loss, and no sooner did I submit my article to the publisher, did the announcement come that Sarkasian was asked to take a leave of absence. I had to prepare a revision to my earlier piece so that it was relevant given the breaking news.
Since then, in a matter of less than twenty-four hours, various sources have written about Coach Sarkasian’s issues with alcohol. What Coach Sarkasian described as an inadvertent mishap prior to the season where he acted inappropriately at a donor event, now seems part of a pattern of off-field antics that might be rooted in alcohol.
One of the former Washington Huskies players commented that Sarkasian had always been a Trojan at heart. It occurred to me that perhaps he the loss last week might was meaningful to so many on so many levels. Although my article submitted to Gaming Today News, is likely just touching the surface of the complicated weave that Steve Sarkasian has wove, I was very glad to have a basic understanding of the man behind the USC Trojans. There is a humanness that often gets put on the shelf when individuals sign on to become athletes or coaches, and as we watch with excitement and anticipation to see the outcome of the games, understanding the human side is probably the least of our concerns.
Alcoholism, drug addiction, domestic violence, racism and other socioeconomic issues can affect all of us. There are no barriers that shield us. No amount of money can make a person immune from humanness. This is probably a good thing.
[ Matthew 7.1 ]